The Art of Robert Black

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Cover painting by P. Craig Russell

Well known to New York audiences as a pianist and conductor, Robert Black had begun to make his mark on the international conducting scene when he was suddenly cut down by cancer at the age of 43. During his last years Black turned to composition, and this recording bears the fruit of his endeavors.

Some of Black’s finest work as a conductor came leading the Warsaw Philharmonic, so it is fitting that this ensemble should give the recording premiere of Black’s Capriccio (Blown Apart), of 1993. Jerzy Swoboda leads a spectacular performance of this virtuosic and witty orchestral tour-de-force.

Black’s pianism was much admired in repertoire centering around Beethoven, Liszt, and the masters of twentieth century music. His Foramen Habet!, of 1992, is given a reading of preternatural intensity by pianist James Winn.

Black’s Capriccio was based on his Three Pieces for Violin and Piano, which is preformed here by the noted chamber players, Gregory Fulkerson and Charles Abramovic.

Also included is an "in concert" performance of Black conducting Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks Concerto. On display here is the superb rhythmic elan and sense of line that made Robert Black one of New York’s finest conductors during the 1970s and 80s.

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Robert Black: Capriccio (Blown Apart)
Robert Black: Foramen Habet!
Robert Black: Three Pieces for Violin and Piano
Igor Stravinsky: "Dumbarton Oaks" Concerto

The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Prism Orchestra
Gregory Fulkerson, violin
James Winn, Charles Abramovic: piano